Well, I leave Pennsylvania tomorrow (er . . . technically today, I guess), and to be perfectly honest, I'm about as unexcited about the prospect of going back to Liberia as I can be [WARNING: WHINING AHEAD].
Here's the deal: I got back from California yesterday, and am still feeling the effects of the time difference. I've been stressed about interviews, stressed about imposing on family, friends, and acquaintances for housing during my travels, stressed about traveling, and stressed about spending American money on a Liberian salary. When I get stressed, I eat a lot of junk. When I eat a lot of junk, I gain weight. And when I gain weight, all of the people I know in Liberia feel the need to make me aware that they've noticed. So, overall, I'm tired, I feel physically pretty crummy, and I'm irritable and negative about all of the bullshit that I know I'll have to deal with when I get back.
On a positive note, it really was great to see everyone. And it was nice to be reminded how much support I have, both from family and friends, back in the US -- even if it feels awfully far away sometimes. It was also kind of cool to get to see several different parts of the US -- the Northeast, Southeast, and West Coast (albeit for a very short periods of time); it reminded me of what a beautiful, diverse country I live in. So for those reasons, I'm very grateful that I had the chance to come home for a bit.
About my last entry: it may seem odd that I feel the need to write about what an unpleasant, petty person I can be. But part of the reason that I write that kind of entry, which probably contains more information about myself and my flaws than you really want to know, is because I need to remind myself why I wanted to do this.
Sometimes I wish I were more religious, that I felt some kind of a higher force pushing me to stay committed and do my very best work, that I had an easier answer to why the fuck I want to live somewhere with no shower when I don't have to. Of course, I'm not religious, and even if I were, religion isn't necessarily an "easy answer." So I have to find my own personal and secular reasons for choosing this experience. (Although those reasons often come down to "it's better than anything else I can think of," and "shit, I forgot . . . did I have reasons?")